Sohra, also spelled as Cherrapunjee and Charrapunji, is a town in East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. It is credited as being the wettest place on Earth. However, nearby Mawsynram has more rainfall nowadays, and both are surpassed by Lloró, Colombia.
It is the traditional capital of a hima (Khasi tribal chieftainship constituting a petty state) known as Sohra or Churra.
The original name for this town was Sohra, pronounced as "Churra" by the British before morphing into the present one. Despite perennial rain, Cherrapunji faces an acute water shortage and the inhabitants often have to trek for miles to obtain potable water. Irrigation is also hampered due to excessive rain washing away the topsoil as a result of human encroachment into the forests. Now the Meghalaya State government has decided to rename Cherrapunji to its local name "Sohra". There is a monument to David Scott (British Administrator in NE India, 1802–31) in Cherrapunji cemetery.
Cherrapunji is located at 25.30°N 91.70°E. It has an average elevation of 1,484 metres (4,869 ft) sits on a plateau in the southern part of the Khasi Hills, facing the plains of Bangladesh. The plateau rises 600 meters above the surrounding valleys. Valleys around Cherrapunji are covered with lush and very diverse vegetation, containing numerous endemic species of plants, including Meghalaya subtropical forests.
View of Bangladesh plains from Cherrapunjee
The cliffs of Cherrapunji receive heavy rainfall due to monsoon winds blowing from the Bay of Bengal. Thus, the region is home to extremely wet weather. Cherrapunji's yearly rainfall average stands at 11,777 millimetres (463.7 in). Cherrapunji receives both the Southwest and Northeast monsoon showers which give it a single monsoon season. It lies in the windward side of the Khasi Hills. In the winter months it receives the northeast monsoon showers which travel down the Brahmaputra valley.
Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is also the nearest airport to Cherrapunji. From Shillong you can get to Cherrapunji in a shared Sumo from Barabazar, which is a short walk down GS road from the police Bazar. The sumos leave from the upstairs section of a parkade. Once you're in Bara bazar ask around and someone will surely point you in the right direction. Remember there is limited transport during Sundays and Christian holidays like Easter etc.
Shared taxis rip up and down the roads. It's 10 rupees to get from the market down to lower Sohra, same price the other way. If you're on foot and heading down to the guest houses or homestays in lower Sohra (lower Cherrapunji) you should find your way through the footpaths and roads heading south from the market. If you walk on the highway it's way further. If you're heading down to Tyrna, the start of the walk to Nongriat, shared taxis leave from the market when they're full, charging 40 rupees per person. There's also a bus that comes through around 9-9:30 AM and will drop you on the highway very close to Tyrna for 30 rupees.
It's not hard to learn about all the local sights you can take a selfie at. Ask anyone. Don't make the mistake of leaving Sohra without heading down to Nongriat.
You should buy a warm coat and an umbrella.
Most of the places to stay around Cherrapunji are more expensive and cater to domestic Indian tourists. At the low end expect to pay around 500 rupees. Be aware that the lodging in Nongriat is more affordable but also rougher. Probably if you're a backpacker you will prefer to spend your time in Nongriat rather than Cherrapunji.
Probably you are going to want to head down to Nongriat